Saturday, October 20, 2012

Werebeasts in the Philippines

A young man in Malolos, Bulacan was hanging out with his friends late one night. He grew up in the town outskirts near the wide plains. It was very different then. Electricity was reserved for the wealthy, there were no lamp posts to light the rural roads and when its nighttime, its really dark. Most of the lands were either abound with tall talahib or plots of land for farming so its really scary walking alone when its dark. Only the bravest souls stay outside late after dusk.

These boys were testing their bravery and were on the lookout for something. Weeks ago, an old farmer was heading home late in the evening from tuba with friends. He claims a huge black figure suddenly crossed the road in front of him, and when he tried to run, he said the creature attacked him but he was able to get away. The barrio people had mixed reactions to the old farmer's story but fear is the most prevalent. The boys stayed up late to prove that the old farmer was right and to capture the beast.

Friday, October 19, 2012

An Aswang Encounter

A young woman in her early 20's who grew up in Manila decided to spend summer with her in-laws at a town in the Visayas region. It was her older sister who married and lived with these folks, but her sister passed away recently. The young woman wanted to pay respects to her sister's grave and at the same time get to know her in-laws.

And so she traveled to the barrio and was warmly welcomed. Everyone was really happy to see her especially her sister's daughter who's almost her age too. Being a ManileƱa, the young woman dressed differently than the people of the barrio who are conservative and plain. Her distinctive jewelries, watch, earrings and necklace definitely made her stood out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Filipino Mythology Until November

Photo by Kino Lim
Tradition dictates that we Filipinos will be celebrating Undas very soon. The days of November 1 and 2 are days of contrast nowadays, because of the transitioning generations. The older generation like our grandparents try to keep its serious but spooky solemnity, the middle generation like our parents are doing it for doing's sake because its tradition and the younger generation, will join the celebration because cemeteries turn into festive places. On a public cemetery at night, there's the mass of people, the flickering lights of a thousand candles, the noise of vendors trying to get the most out of the holiday and the dead.

To the living, death is unknown. Whatever we don't know, we fear. Death is a fearful thing. Since the days of the dead are coming, the next articles until November 1 will be about the fearful creatures of Philippine Mythology or mystical beings that are a part of our culture. These are the best times to tell stories about what our ancestors feared. It is alright to be afraid, after all, there are a lot of things we don't know about and there could be something out there in the dark.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Against the Anti-Cybercrime Law

May kasabihan ang mga matatanda "pag hinawakan mo ng mahigpit, lalong kumakawala."

The freedom online is now in danger of being extinct. You could smell the stink of censorship, lockdowns and monitoring of all internet activity. That means every click of your mouse, every letter you type, every bit and byte of data going in and out of your online computer can be tracked and used against you. The right to privacy might disappear as THEY squeeze tighter. To those who understand the implications, they will definitely want to get out of the "squeeze."